A fresh, healthy way to serve veggie crudite at your next happy hour or party! Vegan and gluten free options, with dip, wine, and cheese pairings.
Is it just me or has spring come early this year? Last weekend, I loaded up on the prettiest brightly colored vegetables to put together a gorgeous yet easy wine party crudité appetizer spread.
Two things always intimidate me about putting together party food: 1: Spending tons of time (and tons of money) putting together a guest-worthy spread, and 2: Picking out great wine. So today I have some tips for both…
Let’s start with the wine (always my favorite place to start). We’ve partnered with WineSimple, which is my new favorite way to choose wine because they choose it for you! You start by filling out a fun little quiz and then they send you three bottles of wine that fit your specific taste. The questions are things like: “How do you like your coffee? Which ice cream flavors taste best?” and “Do you like olives?”
I was so excited to try the wines that were chosen for me – I was skeptical, but the wines they sent were SPOT ON. I liked that they sent varieties that I’d never heard of, yet I loved them all (this Domaine de Figueirasse rose is so perfect for spring). The wines are well priced and sourced from high quality boutique wineries that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. If you’re like me, the girl who stands in the liquor store choosing wines based on the “cuteness” of their labels, you should give WineSimple a go.
For this (healthier!) appetizer crudité platter, I started where I often do: at the farmers market. I chose the produce that caught my eye that day, which was a variety of colorful carrots, radishes (especially watermelon radishes, they’re so pretty!), and green cauliflower.
I made two simple veggie dips – spinach hempseed pesto and a white bean dill dip. Both are rich, yet fresh… perfect for crisp spring vegetables and wine. Make them in advance and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
When it comes to cheese, I like to keep it simple by choosing just two – one soft cheese like brie, and one hard cheese like white cheddar or manchego.
I finished my platter with some extra sweet and savory (store-bought) snacks – my favorite items include tamari roasted almonds, dried cranberries, slices of whole wheat pita, and a splurge on some fancy crackers (pictured at the top of this post: salty date and almond Raincoast Crisps).
To get your wine party started, WineSimple is offering a 20% discount to Love & Lemons readers! Use the code LLVIP20 at checkout! Unlike other clubs, you can get your wines sent as often as you want with no specific monthly or year commitment. I hope you love it as much as I do – cheers!
Prettiest Spring Vegetable Platter
- ½ cup hemp seeds
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1 small garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup loose packed fresh dill
- green cauliflower or romanesco
- variety of radishes (including watermelon radishes), sliced
- carrots, sliced in halves or quarters
- brie wedges & sliced white cheddar or manchego cheese
- tamari almonds
- dried cranberries
- 1-2 whole wheat pitas, sliced into strips
- fancy crackers (pictured: salty date & almond Raincoast Crisps)
- variety of wines!
- In a food processor, blend together the hemp seeds, garlic, spinach, lemon juice olive oil, and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Scoop the pesto into a jar and chill until ready to use.
- Using the same food processor (no need to clean it in after the pesto), blend together the cannellini beans, olive oil, lemon juice, water, garlic, and salt. Puree until creamy, then add the dill and blend until incorporated. Chill until ready to use.
- Assemble the platter with seasonal vegetables, nuts, cheeses, dried fruits and the dips. Serve with wine. Cheers!
Special thanks to WineSimple for sponsoring this post!
I’m glad I found this post, it was a lifesaver. I made this as part of the superbowl party dishes, and it was a big hit! Thank you! I’ve bookmarked your site. I will be back for more.
What a lovely way to make veggies the star of your dish! I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of raw veg as a snack, but this party platter looks so pretty and inviting, I can’t wait to give this nibble a try. Thanks for sharing Jeanine!
What a lovely way to make veggies the star of your dish! I’m not a huge fan of raw veg as a snack, but this party platter looks so pretty and tasty, I can’t wait to nibble on it.
Platters are nicely done and they look very colorful.
Fresh and beautiful produce make such a difference- what a beautiful platter you’ve created! I’m counting down the days until our market gets produce like this and I can make my own board just like yours. And I aways need help with wine- sounds like such a neat company. 🙂
I love the short wine glasses in your wine shot…Where did you find them?
Hi Hannah – I got them here on amazon: http://amzn.to/1psPylf
This is gorgeous and I am all about those dips! Plus this wine curating company – brilliant? Brilliant. Next time I order wine I am so going through them to take this fun quiz! Love it.
thanks Jessie! I’ve been loving it – way better wine than I would have picked out myself 🙂
Wine is definitely a great place to start! My first and I can tell you that I’ll be back. Really loved the layout and cannot wait to show this to my wife. I enjoyed the recipe for the spinach hemp seed pesto, and will be making it this weekend. Thanks for the share!
This is so cool! I’ve never heard of WineSimple but now I’m dying to try. I love discovering new varietals. And this party platter looks stunning!!
thanks Kate! I’ve really been enjoying it!
The French have a name for this: un diner aperitoire (an aperitif dinner? cocktail party!). Finger foods, including a big platter of crudités, and wine. Simple and made for conversation.
I love that 🙂
You turn the simplest of meals into exciting and elegant but completely doable spreads. Love the white bean dill dip – perfect springtime flavors.
thanks Katie! It’s so good – my new favorite 🙂
I love a good party platter and this one is exceptionally colorful!
Spring has definitely come early and I couldn’t be more happy!
Love the colorful pictures, puts me in a better mood, just like the season-change has!
thank you! Me too – love spring!!
I love rainbow carrots! They are so much more fun to eat than regular carrots!
That platter is beautiful! Looks delicious! I’m off to check out WineSimple now 🙂
Your kitchen is the perfect backdrop for, ehm, EVERYTHING. This platter looks like the perfect lunch alternative to a big ol’ sandwich 🙂
ha, thanks 🙂